One of the things I like to do as I read the scriptures is write down just one thing, one quick takeaway from the section. For me, it’s a process that helps me move from simply reading the Word to allowing the Word to read me.
It’s a simple practice that anybody can do, it helps to reinforce what I’ve read, and it gives me an opportunity to engage with what the Holy Spirit might be trying to teach me.
This is my “quick thought” from today’s reading in Daniel 7-12.
“We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy.” ~Daniel 9:18
Who can make such an audacious plea?
Only somebody who understands their relationship to God. It’s about who God is, who we are, and how we align ourselves with the true reality of Life!
Who is God?
He is the Good Father who is “rich in mercy,” and now we live into an inheritance of grace because “while we were still sinners, God died for us.”
So, who are we?
Are we undeserving sinners?
Did he die “because” we were sinners?
No! In Romans 5 Paul exclaimed he died “while we were” still undeserving. He died “while” not “because,” and we “were” not “are.” Our sin has no controlling power over God’s actions!
Sin is not our identity and it does not define who we are. Who we are is his beloved good creation, because “original goodness” predates “original sin,” and now because he is rich in mercy, our inheritance is life as his Beloved Children. In other words, he died while we were still living into a reality that is contrary to the truth of who we were originally created to be, who we currently are, and who we will always be, his Beloved Children!
Consider Jesus’ parable about the “Prodigal Son.” The truth that the brothers are “sons” is far more important and predates the label “prodigal.” In fact, Jesus never labeled either son by their actions; we did that long after the fact with chapter titles, sermons, and poor interpretations! Jesus only said the younger son wasted his inheritance with “wild living,” and the older son “burned in anger” when he saw his father’s mercy.
The two sons may have sinned, but that’s not who they are! “Sin” is what they did, but who they are is “Son.” Even if they choose to deny their “sonship” by sinning, it is the rich mercy of the Good Father that allows them the freedom to reject the reality of their inheritance. However, when they choose to live outside of reality, they still can’t erase their DNA. Whose they are as Beloved Children of the Good Father will eternally remain the reality, and he will continually invite them into the celebration of Life where they can participate in the reality of his love. The amazing truth of the Gospel is, this is the reality for us too!
He didn’t die because of what we did, he died because of who he is and whose we are. He is the Good Father, rich in mercy, and we are his Beloved Children!
This is what I heard in today’s reading, what did you hear?
#Ephesians2:5 #John1:16 #Romans5:8 #Hebrews12:2 #Genesis1:31 #Luke15:11